Understanding the Sales and Use Tax on Marine Vessels

The sales and use taxes on marine vessels is sometimes confused with duty and importation tax, but it is not the same system. Unlike duty, which is imposed by the federal government at the boat’s port of entry, the sales and use taxation is assessed at the state and local level and applied at the time the boat is purchased. State sales tax is typically collected at the time of purchase if the vessel was acquired Read More

Federal vs. State Documentation: Which One Matters More When it Comes to Your Boat, Vessel, or Yacht?

You’ve just bought the boat you’ve had your eye on for a while. The price is reasonable, you’ve arranged for financing, and all surveying is complete. Now you have to decide whether you’re going to document the vessel with the Coast Guard, otherwise known as federal titling, or opt for state titling. Which one matters more/takes precedence over the other? Federal Documentation The U.S. government started Read More

The 3 Things You Need to Have When Importing a Boat for Personal Use into the U.S.

When it comes to finding the yacht of your dreams, people will search far and wide, so it comes as no surprise that many boat sales take place outside of the U.S. While there’s nothing stopping you from bringing your new vessel home afterwards, there are three things you must have with you when you meet with Customs and Border Patrol representatives upon your arrival in the country. They are listed and explained Read More

The ABCs of U.S. Vessel Documentation

If you are new to yacht ownership, the documentation process can be confusing, even if you’ve registered a motor vehicle before. There are marine-specific requirements that don’t have a counterpart in any other transaction you’ve engaged in, each with their own descriptions and deadlines. To make things a bit simpler, we’ve listed some common terms in the vessel documentation process and explained their meaning. Read More

What Are Temporary Importation Bonds?

Anyone wanting to import a yacht into the United States for personal use is normally required to pay 1.5% duty on the value of the vessel, unless it is from a country with a trade agreement in place. They are also subject to a merchandise processing fee of .21%, with a maximum total of $485. There are times, however, when you want to temporarily import a yacht into the United States. Examples of such situations Read More

Understanding Sales of Repossessed Vessels

Like cars, yachts and other pleasure craft are subject to repossession under certain conditions, usually due to a mortgage default. In this instance the boat’s owners have fallen behind in their payments, so the lender takes possession of its floating collateral and puts it up for sale in an attempt to recoup any losses. If you’ve never purchased a repossessed vessel before, the process is different from buying Read More

Buyer Beware: 5 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Yacht, Boat, or Other Water Vessel

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, an estimated 60% of first-time boat buyers opt to purchase a used vessel. Part of the appeal is price: when you’re new to the joys of yachting, you might not be ready for a bigger financial investment. Another reason is that the boat has been tried and tested and is, presumably, reliable. Or is it? The fact that the boat was pre-owned does not mean that Read More

Common Logistical Issues for Yacht Imports

If you live in the United States and the yacht of your dreams is in Canada, Europe, or an even more remote location, there are ways and means of properly importing it. The challenge is in making sure that all paperwork and processes have been completed correctly. Below are some common logistical issues for foreign yacht imports, as well as why they can pose a problem: Going for a Gray Import Also known as a Read More

EPA Enforcing Compliance on All Engine Imports

The US EPA is a now heavily enforcing compliance on all engine imports into the U.S..    For us in particular, it is affecting the import of foreign built yachts being imported for sale in the U.S., or boats purchased by U.S. residents hoping to import the yacht into the U.S. and register the vessel here for private use. For Marine Compression (Diesel) engines here are some key parameters to make note of: For Read More

What to Do and What Not to Do When Purchasing an International Yacht

When you’ve found the boat you want at a price you can afford, should the fact that it’s located overseas stop you? Not quite: there are actually many benefits associated with an international purchase. In certain market conditions, you can save money. If you want to spend time in whatever country the boat is located, you can do so and then sail your new acquisition back to the U.S.. There are, however, certain Read More